Berbatov ´excited´ to join Fulham

Dimitar Berbatov says he excited to have joined Fulham and hinted he could make an immediate debut against West Ham on Saturday.

The Bulgarian striker signed for around four million pounds on transfer deadline day, penning a two-year deal at Craven Cottage having spent four years at Manchester United.

Berbatov also spoke of his delight at being reunited with former manager Martin Jol, with whom he enjoyed two successful seasons at Tottenham, and admitted that he was relieved to be staying in England after rejecting approaches from Fiorentina and Juventus in Italy.

“I’m expecting great things – I just want to enjoy my football once again,” he told his new club’s official website.

“When I play all the time I play with a smile on my face and then I can help my team with my goals and my game and the way I can play football.

“It is always exciting when you see a team that wants to develop and Fulham want to do this. When you come to a new club, the first two or three days are always a bit hectic.

“You meet new faces, new team-mates and have fresh surroundings but I will soon get used to it because I’ve been with other teams in England, I know the environment and I know the language so it should be easy for me to fit in very quickly.

“I do remember playing against Fulham and at Craven Cottage – I remember scoring a couple of goals against them too.

“I always really enjoyed coming here, it is a good football pitch and Fulham always try to play football, which I like, so I hope I can do what I’ve managed to do with my former clubs with my new club, then everybody will be happy.”

Speaking about former Spurs and Ajax boss Jol, the 31-year-old said he was determined to replicate what he produced under the Dutchman at White Hart Lane.

“Now I am here and I am glad to be able to work with Martin Jol again,” Berbatov said.

“Sometimes when you meet someone you just know you are going to work well with each other and that is the case with me and Martin Jol.

“Let’s hope this positive relationship happens again like it did at Tottenham. Obviously I’m a football player and need to do whatever my manager wants from me but he knows me well, he knows how I like to play so I think we understand one another.”

When asked if he would be making his Fulham debut against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday, Berbatov hinted he could well be set to make an appearance.

“Let’s wait and see what happens with regards to the West Ham game – maybe you will see me there,” he said.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Afellay: I was stagnant at Barcelona

Ibrahim Afellay says he is relieved to have completed his season-long loan move to Schalke from Barcelona.

After a frustrating two-and-a-half years at the La Liga club, the former PSV man spoke to Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova before going ahead with the switch and he is confident that he has made the right decision.

Speaking at his official unveiling as a Schalke playe,r Afellay said: “I have not played much at Barcelona and this season I was told that I was going to have wait to play. It was agreed with the coach that a transfer would be the best option.”

The 26-year-old missed much of last season through injury and the midfielder spoke of the importance to get back to playing football on a regular basis.

“There was no point staying stagnant (at Barcelona). When you recover from an injury you must play again as soon as possible, and that’s what I’ll do now at Schalke. I have good feelings,” he said.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Round wants midfield recruits

Everton assistant manager Steve Round said the club hopes to bolster their midfield ranks before the transfer window closes.

The Toffees have been busy in the market this off-season, bringing in Steve Naismith, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas.

FC Copenhagen full-back Bryan Oviedo is set to sign for the club on Friday after having a work permit approved, and Round has confirmed the Merseyside club will look for extra reinforcements following the departure of Jack Rodwell to Manchester City.

“We are trying to bring somebody into the midfield that would be a help to cover our squad and that is probably about it to be honest,” Round told reporters.

“We are only ever going to get one or two players at this late stage, and if we can bring in just one today I think that will be a bonus.”

Round cited Oviedo’s potential versatility as attractive to manager David Moyes and insisted the Scottish manager was continuing to work hard to add another new signing.

“Bryan is the closest we have got,” Round added.

“And other than that, the manager is going to be working all day I think with the chairman (Bill Kenwright) to try to bring somebody else in.

“He (Oviedo) can play left back, left midfield, left wing – all the way down the left hand-side. That will give us good cover in our squad.”

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Prediction: West Ham vs Fulham

31st August 2012

With both West Ham and Fulham enjoying a promising start to the Premier League campaign and this being a local derby, the match at Boleyn Ground was always going to deliver us premium excitement, but the transfer deadline dealings by the two clubs have added an extra twist to the plot.

Boosted by the heavy summer recruitment, West Ham enjoyed a good start to the Premiership campaign, beating struggling Aston Villa at home, but the Hammers then succumbed to a very disappointing defeat at Liberty Stadium. Even if not too many people expected the Hammers to beat Swansea away from home, Sam Allardyce was given a great excuse for some hairdryer treatment after Jussi Jaaskelainen and James Collins gifted their opponents the first two goals. The fact the mistakes have come from the most experienced players in the side is definitely a reason to worry, and Big Sam can only hope these will prove to be one off incidents. The Hammers did receive some good news this week as England international Andy Carroll agreed to join the club on a season-long loan, and the towering striker could slot straight into the starting line-up for this match. Mark Noble and Carlton Cole will start if they don’t leave the club on transfer deadline day, but Jack Collison remains sidelined.

Fulham started the season with a bang, having recorded a 5-0 home win over Norwich, with new signing Mladen Petric scoring a brace on his debut. The Cottagers then produced a decent showing at Old Trafford against Manchester United, but had to settle for a 3-2 defeat despite taking the lead through Damien Duff. While some of the fans must have been pretty disappointed by the Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday that ensued, the club chiefs did well to improve their spirits having beaten the likes of Fiorentina and Juventus to the signature of Dimitar Berbatov. Boss Martin Jol was quick to point out that the Bulgarian was without a doubt the best signing in club’s long history, so I guess that means the former Manchester United striker will start against West Ham. Meanwhile, Moussa Dembele has moved to Tottenham, leaving the side desperately short of creative midfielders. Clint Dempsey again looks set to miss out, while Kerim Frei and Philippe Senderos are both sidelined through injury.

Conclusion

Late signings Matt Jarvis and Andy Carroll are expected to improve West Ham’s attacking department, while Fulham should look much better with Dimitar Berbatov and Mladen Petric up front. With both sides boasting pretty shaky defences, over 2.5 goals looks like a good choice here.

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Ladbrokes

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Edu seals Stoke switch

Maurice Edu has completed a move to Stoke following his exit from relegated Scottish giants Rangers.

The United States international midfielder had earlier this week completed a medical and agreed to terms on a three-year deal at the Britannia Stadium, but was waiting for details of a work permit to be finalised.

Edu announced on Twitter: “Stoke City, it’s finally official! Excited and looking forward to this next chapter in my career. Thanks for all your well wishes and support!”

The 26-year-old combines stamina with technique and can also play at centre back, but is set to compete for one of two central midfield spots with Dean Whitehead, Glenn Whelan, Wilson Palacios and fellow American arrival Geoff Cameron.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Hernandez signs with Swans

Pablo Hernandez has completed a move to Swansea from Valencia for a fee in the region of 5.5 million pounds.

The versatile winger can play in any attacking midfield role and joins the Swans as an immediate replacement for Scott Sinclair, who left for Manchester City for a fee of up to 8m.

The 27-year-old made 45 appearances in all competitions for Valencia last season scoring five goals, and has won four international caps for Spain.

Commenting on his move, Hernandez told Sky Sports News: “I am happy. It’s my dream to play in the Premier League.”

He joins Jonathan de Guzman and compatriots Michu and Chico as manager Michael Laudrup’s signings from La Liga, and is also joined in midfield by South Korea international Ki Sung-Yueng who completed his move from Celtic last week.

The Danish international legend Laudrup has had to reshape the Welsh side since replacing Brendan Rodgers, following the departures of key players Steven Caulker, Joe Allen, and Gylfi Sigurdsson, but has began the season in impressive fashion, scoring eight goals and conceding none in their first two matches.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Hughes tossing up keeper dilemma

QPR boss Mark Hughes has confirmed that Robert Green could be made to warm the bench in their Premier League clash with Manchester City.

The London club completed the signing of Brazil international and Champions League winner Julio Cesar from Serie A side Inter Milan this week, and Hughes is delighted that he now faces a selection headache.

“We never thought we could pull off the deal, but from a football and a business sense it was an opportunity not to be missed,” he said.

“How do I keep both keepers happy? It’s different for them I admit, but injuries and suspensions will always be there, and performances will decide who plays well enough to keep their shirt.”

Green only made his debut on the opening day of the season but suffered an embarrassing defeat as QPR were thrashed 5-0 by Swansea City, and was at fault for the opening goal.

The 32-year-old made the move across London from West Ham during the summer, and now looks set to lose his place in the first team.

The arrival of Cesar is the latest of a number of high-profile signings for the outfit, who are looking to strengthen the squad following the threat of relegation last season.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Juventus sew up Bendtner on loan

Juventus have confirmed the signing of Nicklas Bendtner from Arsenal on a season-long loan deal.

The Denmark international has been linked with a move to Turin over the last few days, as the Serie A champions failed in their bid to land Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, who has since joined Premier League side Fulham.

Bendtner, who spent last season on loan at Sunderland, was identified as an alternative to the Bulgarian striker and he has now completed a move to Antonio Conte’s side, who retain an option to buy the player at the end of the season.

“So happy and humble. A dream come true,” Bendtner wrote on his Twitter page.

“I can finally say I am a Juventus player. Very proud and can’t wait to wear the stripes! I hope we will have great times together.”

A statement on the club’s official website read: “Nicklas Bendtner is a Juventus player.

“The company has reached an agreement with Arsenal for the temporary acquisition, with option rights, for the performance rights of the attacker Danish, born in 1988.

“The former Gunner has signed a contract valid until June 30, 2013.”

Juventus are believed to have pipped Siena to Bendtner’s signature, according to the club’s sporting director Stefano Antonelli.

“It seemed an impossible operation, but we had an agreement with Arsenal and with the player,” he told Sky Sports Italia.

“It seemed like a dream, but, at one point, it looked as if we had him. The interest from Juventus changed the scenario.”

The 24-year-old becomes the club’s second deal this week after goalkeeper Rubinho joined from fellow Serie A side Palemo.

Juventus had chased Bendtner’s Arsenal team-mate Robin van Persie earlier in the summer but saw the Dutchman complete a move to Manchester United.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Chalobah joins Watford

Chelsea youth prospect Nathaniel Chalobah has joined Gianfranco Zola’s Watford on loan until January 2.

The 17-year-old was captain of the FA Youth Cup winning side last season, and also skippered England at U-17 level last term, as well as regularly wearing the armband for the Blues’ reserves.

The central defender, who can also play in midfield, signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the west London club in January but has never made a senior appearance, though he has been an unused substitute.

Therefore, Roberto Di Matteo has decided to allow the Englishman, who put in an impressive performance for the club in their first ever NextGen clash against CSKA Moscow at Cobham on Tuesday, to gain some experience away from the club.

The former Chelsea schoolboy will now work under club legend Zola at Watford, with the Italian taking charge of the Championship outfit in July after the Pozzo family’s purchase of the team.

Hopes are high for Chalobah at Stamford Bridge, with the teen making his England Under-17 debut at just 14, before he became a European champion at the same level in 2010.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Deadline Day transfer update

With the transfer window shutting at 11PM tonight teams have been busy in the transfer market bringing in squad reinforcements.

A big transfer that was completed late last night was Andy Carroll’s season-long loan move to West Ham from Liverpool.

Liverpool’s club record signing had previously been linked with a return to hometown club Newcastle.

However, the Irons have beaten off competition from the Magpies to secure the players signature.

Liverpool have also part company with Scotland international midfielder Charlie Adam. The former-Rangers ace has joined Premier League club Stoke City for a fee of £4million. Adam had fallen down the pecking order at Anfield after the summer arrival of Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin.

Stoke are also expected to finalise a free move for USA international Maurice Edu. The Potters are just waiting for international clearance to complete the move. The Potters are also in negotiations with Blackburn about Rovers midfielder Steven N’Zonzi. A fee has yet to be revealed.

Across the city Everton have agreed an undisclosed fee with Copenhagen for full-back Bryan Oviedo. The Toffee’s are just waiting for a work permit to be sorted out and the Costa Rica international will then complete the move to Merseyside.

Elsewhere, Tottenham have sold Rafael Van Der Vaart to German Bundesliga club Hamburg for an undisclosed fee. It looks like Spurs have replaced the Dutch international in swift manner, as according to Sky Sports they have agreed a £22million fee with FC Porto for talented midfielder Joao Moutinho.

Tottenham have also allowed young full-back Danny Rose to leave the club on a season-long loan to Sunderland. Fellow Spurs star Jermaine Jenas was expected to join The Black Cats on-loan, but the deal has now fallen through.

Fulham have been busy on deadline Day. The Cottagers have signed Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov for a fee in the region of £4million from Manchester United. The Bulgarian has signed a two-year contract with the Cottagers.

Fulham have also signed another former-United star Kieran Richardson from Sunderland for a fee in the region of £2million. Fulham have also brought in young Dutch striker Chris David from FC Twente for an undisclosed fee.

It’s also been a busy day at Manchester City. The champions have already brought in goalkeeper Richard Wright on a free transfer. The Citizens have also completed the £6.2million signing of Swansea winger Scott Sinclair.

According to Sky Sports reports Inter and Brazil full-back Maicon has moved to the Etihad Stadium. A fee for the Brazilian international has yet to be revealed. City could also be on the verge of signing Benfica’s Javi Garcia. The two clubs are believed to be discussing a deal with a fee of £24million mooted.

Italian giants AC Milan have signed Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong from City for an undisclosed fee. The Dutchman is believed to have signed a four-year deal with the Rossoneri. Manchester City are set to sell striker Roque Santa Cruz to Malaga. The Paraguay striker is having a medical in Spain, ahead of a permanent move.

Liverpool are being linked with a late move for Fulham’s Clint Dempsey. The Reds had been linked with a move for the USA international earlier this summer and they are expected to re-ignite their interest in the next few hours.

Aston Villa are believed to have agreed a fee with Fulham, but the player has decided that he didn’t want to make the move to Villa Park. Sunderland are also believed to be interested in signing Dempsey.

QPR look set to add Marseille midfielder Stephane Mbia to their squad. The Cameroon ace is currently in London having a medical. The Hoops had already added Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero to their squad earlier today for an undisclosed fee.

Start

It’s very early on transfer deadline day, but expect far more big money moves before the transfer window shuts at 11PM tonight. Stay with Soccernews, as we will bring you more news on all the transfers as they happen.

Who will be the best signing of deadline day?

Fri 31 August, 2012
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